Should valve showcase blogs, podcasts, vods, fanart, and other creation projects produced by the community in the client?
One of the things people talk about is how hard it is to find certain material related to dota. For example, finding a good podcast on amateur dota concept creation is really hard. There might not be one that exists, if it does, it’s buried deep in the depths of the interweb. This will make things much easier just upload your site, podcast, vod url to the client and it will showcase there.
That’s the easy part, uploading it. The hard part is making sure everyone gets even viewership in a satisfactory way.
I know, for one, I’ve had friends complaining to valve about how matches are obtained during tournaments. And I’d agree, skimming through pages of uploads that go seventy-six pages only to download one replay and then after watching it having to scroll through seventy-six pages again was a real pain. With the recent shanghai update they changed this, which I’m glad they did. It was a real pain to go through the Frankfurt replays and other tournaments for this reason. With the upcoming tournaments, I hope they have the format of the shanghai replay availability.
I haven’t heard any real complaints about custom games, except that some people want a subscription. This will enable creators to rally players to queue up for a practice lobby or bug testing.
Though this game has a long way to go, in the future, valve can include other areas of the dota scene. Including vods, podcasts, and blogs similar to this one is a sure way to help people stay up-to-date with other parts of the dota world besides the competitive scenes.
Competitions aren’t bad and neither is shoutcasting, but right now valve is capitalizing mainly on these scenes. So much so that other aspects such as vods, blogs, and art are being neglected.
What they could do is to have a separate tab for community projects, within the client. Each catering to some sort of part of the dota world. This would have the impact of garnering support for players, who don’t necessarily want or have the faculties to become pro players but want to contribute to the world of dota, easier.
Forums are a must too. It should be made accessible from the client and possible to respond to these forums similar to how the shanghai major was viewable in the client on the main page.
Posts from reddit, playdota, dotafire could be subscribed to, replyable to and viewed also from the client.
One question remains, though. How will you make viewership even (or would you even want that?)? If you have viewership evenly distributed you will have a better case of gaining support for your contribution.
The downside is that there wouldn’t be any room for experiments (or not as much). As for now, there are podcasts, blogs and youtube. You can essentially experiment with your material to see what people like. The more you do the right things, the better (and a better audience) you will get. You can take as long as you want to create this outlet in the perfect form. Because there will always be people who will test out (and even retest) your material.
If this was added to the dota client, that possibly could be lost.
You could lose subscribers quicker. There are tons of things that could be done to make this work or not work. For example, the client could hold an algorithm for the creators showing them when they get more or less views. Valve could conduct public surveys to find out what people like about a particular content-creator’s content.
There are tons of things that can be done. It’s all a matter of perspective. But I will say, even though dota could die at any moment (seeing as tons of people are leaving), Valve can do some things to adjust to this: firstly, by focusing on better game implementations and adjustments rather than focusing so much on competitive; secondly, by focusing on other areas in the dota marketplace and adding that to the client. This will help sustain the game for a long time to come and make it pleasant to be part of the dota world. And not only that. If you’re invested in making a livelihood out of this game, you can be assured that you will want to add anything that will keep players coming back for more.